There’s nothing more exciting than seeing an SBIR research topic that fits in perfectly with something your small business is already doing or wants to do.  

The NIH Budget 2018 SBIR topics range from wearable sensors to innovative materials, technologies, and platforms, to clinical studies and trials that can greatly impact people’s lives. Knowing what each SBIR-granting department is interested in can help your company shape your strategy for upcoming submission deadlines in January, April and September 2019.

The National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration have all posted 2018-2019 topics in support of NIH Budget 2018. Here are a few examples of what they’re looking for.  See the full list here.

National Institute on Aging via NIH Budget 2018

  • Development of robotics applications to aid the elderly  
  • Interventions to maintain older adult independence or functioning, increasing well being, preventing disease and or disability
  • Development of online genetic counseling and smartphone applications to crowdsource phenotype information
  • Risk reduction programs among people aged 45-64
  • Effects of metabolism on the aging process
  • Testing in clinical trials of interventions to remediate age-related cognitive decline
  • Development of improved, lightweight and absorbent materials and other interventions to prevent and protect against falls


National Cancer Institute via NIH Budget 2018

  • Therapeutics including cell-based therapies
  • Devices for cancer therapy including interventional, surgical, radiation and ablative therapies, and hospital devices
  • Digital health tools and platforms for control, prevention and care
  • Low-cost tools for global low-resource settings


National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) via NIH Budget 2018

  • Assays, tools, and instrumentation across many disciplines, including general cell biology and gene expression.
  • Development of technology to derive and expand pluripotent cell populations from non- embryonic sources, for example, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).
  • Actions of therapeutics, including anesthetics, and the development of biotechnological methods for their production and investigation.
  • Cell signaling molecules and signaling intermediates, particularly those related to G-protein coupled receptors.
  • Carbohydrates, especially tool and methods development for this emerging field.
  • Pain management as it relates to anesthesia and the perioperative period.
  • Traumatic injury, including burn injury, and methods to mitigate these responses and wound healing and tissue repair.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) via NIH Budget 2018

  • Projects that plan, conduct, and support research, clinical trials, and demonstration and education projects related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases, and sleep disorders. 
  • Research on the clinical use of blood and all aspects of the management and safety of blood resources.
  • Basic, applied, and clinical research on all product and service development related to the mission of the NHLBI.
  • NHLBI has four extramural program divisions, described in detail here.


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism via NIH Budget 2018

  • Medications development to treat alcohol use disorder
  • Technologies to measure and enhance medication adherence in clinical studies
  • Development of a wearable device to monitor blood alcohol levels in real time
  • Roadside driver tests to detect marijuana or other drug use before driving


National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) via NIH Budget 2018

  • Division of AIDS (DAIDS) supports a global research portfolio to advance biological knowledge of HIV/AIDS, its related co-infections, and co-morbidities. With the ultimate goal of creating an “AIDS-Free Generation,”
  • research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious diseases caused by virtually all infectious agents, except HIV. DMID supports a broad spectrum of research from basic molecular structure, microbial physiology and pathogenesis, to the development of new and improved vaccines and therapeutics
  • Broad-ranging topics found here.


Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) via NIH Budget 2018

  • Innovative developmentally-sensitive theoretically-grounded evidence-based small business initiatives that develop technology and products addressing the psychological, social and emotional, psychobiological, language, numerical, literacy, cognitive and intellectual development and health of persons from infancy to maturity
  • Research with an emphasis on developing new and improved methods of fertility regulation as well as research on the benefits and risks of contraceptive drugs, devices and surgical procedures
  • Biomedical research on the cellular, molecular, and genetic aspects of normal and aberrant embryonic and fetal development including early embryogenesis, organogenesis, causative factors in teratogenesis, and topics in regenerative biology.
  • Research on the reproductive processes of men and women and of animals with similar reproductive systems related to developing safer and more effective means of regulating, preserving or achieving fertility.
  • Biomedical research related to gynecologic health throughout the reproductive lifespan, beginning at puberty and extending through early menopause.
  • Additional topics here.


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences via NIH Budget 2018

  • Wearable technologies and fixed sites for assessment of personal exposure in population studies
  • Personal sensors to be worn and deployed after a disaster to understand dermal and/or airborne exposure information
  • Sensors to detect nano-materials and metal to provide an assessment of the toxicological potential
  • Technologies for removing contaminants from drinking water for home use

There are, of course, more departments with additional topics of interest. It’s well worth looking through what SBIR granters are willing to fund, to see where your company fits in.


As always, please feel free to contact Grant Engine to answer any further questions you may have. Call (650) 937-9164, or email